Lord Vader, it is our grave duty to inform you that the revamped Star Tours attraction at California’s Disneyland opened the first weekend in June. The 24-year-old ride is now an iridescent Death Star of 3D technology, high-def video and cutting-edge animatronics.
Oh, and waits of two-hours-plus for those who don’t wield the dark side of The Force. Poor, puny wastrels.
The ride, at its core, hasn’t changed. It’s still a flight simulator that rocks and jerks and twists, combining with video tech to give riders the illusion of forward motion. But Disney’s Imagineers took advantage of the additional “Star Wars” films that have come out since Star Tours debuted. There’s now a broader story to tell. The ride reportedly has three different opening and closing sequences, so the experience can change a bit each time a park-goer embarks.
But enough about the ride (how many of us plan to visit Anaheim… ever?) and back to the video.
We concede that the sight of the fearsome Lord of the Sith whipping around on the Flying Teacups is hilarious. But the best aspect of the vid was pointed out by a YouTube commenter: Only the power of the dark side could cause a churro wagon to serve popcorn. (Look closely. It’s true.)
Behind that hideous breath screen, Vader is smiling like Mickey Mouse. As are the makers of this viral clip. That’s right. Even the deep-pocketed marketing people from The Walt Disney Company are beginning to cotton on that the best marketing is built on imagination (and not prime time advertising slots).